The treatment of ruptured posterior circulation aneurysms remains challenging despite progresses in the endovascular and neurosurgical techniques.
To provide epidemiological characterization of subjects presenting with ruptured posterior circulation aneurysms in Switzerland and thereby assessing the treatment patterns and neurological outcomes.
This is a retrospective analysis of the Swiss SOS registry for patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Patients were divided in 3 groups (upper, lower, and middle third) according to aneurysm location. Clinical, radiological, and treatment-related variables were identified and their impact on the neurological outcome was determined.
From 2009 to 2014, we included 264 patients with ruptured posterior circulation aneurysms. Endovascular occlusion was the most common treatment in all 3 groups (72% in the upper third, 68% in the middle third, and 58.8% in the lower third). Surgical treatment was performed in 11.3%. Favorable outcome (mRS ≤ 3) was found in 56% at discharge and 65.7% at 1 year. No significant difference in the neurological outcome were found among the three groups, in terms of mRS at discharge (p = 0.20) and at 1 year (p = 0.18). High WFNS grade, high Fisher grade at presentation, and rebleeding before aneurysm occlusion (p = 0.001) were all correlated with the risk of unfavorable neurological outcome (or death) at discharge and at 1 year.
In this study, endovascular occlusion was the principal treatment, with a favorable outcome for two-thirds of patients at discharge and at long term. These results are similar to high volume neurovascular centers worldwide, reflecting the importance of centralized care at specialized neurovascular centers.